Archive for February, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Buying Used Electrical Equipment Is Cool

February 26th, 2010 Comments off

10. Buying used bends the time/space continuum in your favor – you can trust us on this.

9.   Buying used extends one’s longevity, since you don’t have to worry about whether the

used piece of equipment will arrive on time.

8.   Buying used decreases the planets carbon footprint (go green) as the piece of equipment has already been made and is simply being put back into service.

7.   Buying used strengthens your marriage since now you will have more money to take your

spouse out to dinner more often.

6.   Here at MIDWEST Switchgear, special equipment needs are engineered to fit the customer’s

special applications.

5.   Only the used reconditioned equipment market can fill the need for existing equipment no longer


4.   Quality. Used equipment at MIDWEST is reconditioned and tested before it is shipped. Test results, be they megger, contact resistance, overcurrent, winding resistance, hypotential, or MIDWEST’s live load tests, must meet national specifications before equipment goes out the door.

3.   Warranty. Depending on the specific type of equipment purchased, a typical warranty on used reconditioned equipment is one year. The same time as the manufacturer’s warranty on new equipment.

2.   Availability. Manufacturers do not keep inventories of many types of new equipment. Lead times for new equipment orders can stretch from weeks to months. Used reconditioned equipment can be in your hands as fast as shipping and preparation allow. The operative word here at MIDWEST Switchgear is fast. Our goal is to get the equipment to the customer as fast as time permits.

1.   And the number one reason to buy used − On average you can expect to save up to 75% of the

cost of new equipment.






Circuit Breakers

February 24th, 2010 Comments off

Sometime in January of 1942, the American intelligence community broke the Japanese code enabling the United States to track what the Japanese were up to. Circuit breakers contain their own type of code also. It may not be as intriguing or as sophisticated as all that, but the circuit breaker code tells its own story. Enter the circuit breakers catalog number. This number is the ID bracelet of the circuit breaker. Take the catalog number of a Square D KAL36200. We know it’s a Square D. The “KA” represents the series of the breaker. The “L” means the breaker has lugs. The “3” indicates the number of poles. The “6” the voltage class (in this case it’s 600 volts). The “200” indicates the frame amperes. So there you have it. The anatomy of a breaker contained in one simple number.


So when you call up with questions about circuit breakers, the catalog number is the key number to know.


Since 1977 MIDWEST has been in the business of servicing circuit breakers, which coincidentally was the only year in recorded history snow fell in Miami Florida. The two events are not related. We have seen many types and sizes of circuit breakers come across our shop tables over the years, ranging from medium voltage breakers, to low voltage air breakers, to molded case circuit breakers. Our experience has taught us well. Let our expert engineers and technical team help you with your circuit breaker concerns. Our office hours are from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM CDT. Our technical support team is standing by and ready to assist you.

General Electric Circuit Breaker

February 22nd, 2010 Comments off

General Electric Circuit Breakers offers many high quality molded case breakers for your power distribution needs. MIDWEST is your single best source for referencing a General Electric Circuit Breaker. Whether new, used, new surplus, or reconditioned we carry a huge inventory of General Electric Circuit Breakers in our warehouse. Our engineering and technical team gets really excited when the phone rings with a question about a General Electric Circuit Breaker.


Here at MIDWEST, we have been testing and maintaining breakers since 1977. You might say, we know breakers like a mother knows her baby. Along with General Electric Circuit Breaker, we offer many types and sizes of breakers in stock and ready to ship. Whatever breaker problem you may have, we are sure to solve it for you. Our complete line of breakers is online at


One quick word about our service: As part of our quality control program, all our breakers are put through a rigorous testing procedure before they are shipped to our customers. This assures our customers the high level of service they have come to know from MIDWEST.


While you have one of our people on the phone ask him about our other electrical products we carry. We handle a complete line of power distribution equipment. Just give us a call and speak to us soon. We still answer the phone with a live body. Our office is open from 7:00am to 6:30pm CDT. Our technical team looks forward to speaking with you.


February 19th, 2010 Comments off

The term “breaker” as it applies to the electrical world usually means one thing, circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is designed to protect circuits. Contrary to what many believe, circuit breakers are not primarily designed to protect people from electric shock. That’s a subject for another article.


Breakers vary. They come in many sizes and types, ranging from the simplest molded case breaker to the most sophisticated types of breakers involving the newest current and voltage monitoring technology.


Click Here for Breakers


Many people ask what part of the breaker is the most vulnerable to wear and tear. That is difficult to say because it depends so much on the environment and the type of use they are subjected to. In a poor environment for instance, (oily or dirty air) breaker mechanisms can become stiff, hampering the physical opening of the breaker. That’s why the exercising of the breaker during scheduled maintenance is so important. The importance of this cannot be overstated. 


Breaker contacts themselves, while designed to open under load conditions, often become pitted causing an increase in contact resistance over time.


A breaker failure can take many forms and can be the result of many things. When a breaker fails in service, it can often lead to expensive down time. MIDWEST is your best source to find a breaker replacement. Since 1977 we have helped many customers through breaker emergencies in short order. Call our expert engineering and breaker support team for your breaker needs. If you are looking for a new, used or reconditioned breaker, we are sure we have what you need.

Does MIDWEST sell old, used, or obsolete circuit breakers, bus plugs, or transformers “As Is?”

February 1st, 2010 Comments off

Three answers, NO and NO and NO.  This is a big deal for us. MIDWEST does not sell old, used, or obsolete circuit breakers, bus plugs, transformers or other electrical equipment to an end user, ie the consumer, unless it has been properly serviced, reconditioned, tested, and passed Quality Controls.  We strongly recommend no one buys old electrical equipment “as is.”  That could be very dangerous. There are many “listing” companies and auction type sites that sell “as is.”  For example, eBay does not warranty the used and old electrical equipment sold through their service.  They provide a great service, but they do not provide a warranty on the specific used electrical equipment sold on eBay.  The same may be true with services that just list equipment.  The only people MIDWEST will sell electrical equipment “as it,” are other qualified electrical dealers that have proper Quality Controls.  Old, used, or obsolete circuit breakers, bus plugs, transformers, and switchgear have too many dangerous failure modes to be sold without proper testing.  MIDWEST does not just process orders.  Anybody can do that.  And many do.  We actually have a name for that.  We call it TC, Trained Chimpanzee, work.  You could train a chimpanzee to put old circuit breakers into a box. 


We add value.  Our staff of engineers and technicians service, repair, recondition, and test electrical equipment for a living.  We’ve done it for over 30 years.  That is what we do day after day. And it is what we think others should do if they are going to sell something.  “As Is” is just scary.  When electrical equipment gets unhappy, it can fail with a boom and a flash.  And that can hurt.